Canker Sores Under the Tongue: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
What are Canker Sores?
Canker sores are medically called aphthous ulcers, featuring small, shallow, and typically painful sores that form inside the mouth. They are ubiquitous, affecting various mouth areas, like under the tongue, inside the cheeks, lips, or the gums.
Symptoms of Canker Sores Under the Tongue
Canker sores may appear similar to oral problems like gum disease, fever blisters, or cancerous sores. Usually, you need to visit us at Image Dental for an evaluation that will confirm the diagnosis of what you have in your mouth. However, the following are some key characteristics of canker sores:
- Size: Canker sores are usually small, ranging from a few millimeters to around one centimeter in diameter. However, you may sometimes have multiple sores appear at the same time.
- Pain and Discomfort: Canker sores can be quite painful, especially when eating, drinking, or speaking. The pain level varies depending on the size and location of the sore.
- Appearance: The center of a canker sore is usually yellowish or white, and the surrounding area is red. The sores are also shallow, without extending deeply into the tissue.
With such characteristics, you can identify the following symptoms when you go for a dental checkup in Calgary for aphthous ulcers under the tongue:
- Pain that can interfere with eating, speaking, or swallowing.
- Redness and inflammation
- Tingling or burning sensation under the tongue
Causes of Canker Sores Under the Tongue
The exact cause of canker sores still needs to be better understood by dentists. However, Calgary dentists, SW, have identified several factors that significantly contribute to their development. These factors include:
- Trauma or Injury: Minor injuries such as accidentally biting yourself, hurting yourself with sharp food particles, aggressive brushing, or dental appliances can trigger canker sores.
- Tissue Irritation: Certain foods, such as acidic and spicy foods, can irritate the mouth's soft tissues and lead to canker sores. The stakes are high if you are allergic to these substances.
- Hormonal Changes: Women experience hormonal fluctuations, particularly during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. The fluctuations can increase the likelihood of developing canker sores, among other problems like gum disease.
- Stress and Emotional Factors: Being anxious, stressed, or depressed for prolonged periods generally weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to developing canker sores.
- Genetics: Some evidence suggests that canker sores may have a genetic component, usually connected to gum-health issues that often run in families.
Treatment Options for Canker Sores Under the Tongue
While canker sores generally resolve on their own without treatment, some treatments can help alleviate pain and promote healing. Besides, severe cases of canker sores under the tongue are recurrent or persistent for an extended period, dentists have further treatment options, including:
- Topical medications containing components like benzocaine, lidocaine, or hydrogen peroxide
- Mouth rinses or mouthwashes with antimicrobial properties
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen
- Oral protective films or gels
Home Remedies and Self-Care
Home remedies and self-care measures can also help alleviate discomfort and promote the healing of canker sores under the tongue alongside medications that your dentist prescribes. Some self-care tips and home remedies you can try for quick healing of your canker sores are:
- Keep your mouth clean to prevent progressed infection of your sores.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with gentle motions to avoid irritating the canker sore.
- Use toothpaste free of certain substances that can aggravate the sores. Such substances include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
- Rinse your mouth with water or a mild, alcohol-free mouthwash after meals to keep the sores clean.
- Opt for soft, bland foods that are gentle on the mouth while the sore heals.
- Avoid chewing gum and consuming hot beverages or foods, often aggravating painful sores.
- Apply honey to the sore – it has natural antimicrobial properties that soothe canker sores. Dab a small amount of pure, raw honey a few times daily.
- Combine water with baking soda to form a paste for applying to the canker sore. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing your mouth with water to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
- Apply pure aloe vera gel directly to the canker sore – it has soothing and healing properties that can provide relief.
- Manage stress and emotional factors that contribute to the development of the sores. Practice stress management through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities you enjoy to help reduce stress levels.